1991-02-01

Fundamental Studies of Polyurethane Foam for Energy Absorption in Automotive Interiors 910404

This paper describes and characterizes energy-absorbing polyurethane foam as exemplified foam made with Bayfill EA systems. This paper emphasizes its use for automotive passive restraint systems. Static and dynamic properties will be presented. In addition the effect of velocity, weight, density, and vehicle environment on energy absorption will be discussed.RECENT federal requirements for the safety of occupants in automobiles has prompted the industry to investigate light weight and low cost materials for energy management. The use of passive restraints in interiors, i.e. air-bags, has necessitated the development of energy-absorbing instrument panels (IP) for passenger cars and multi-purpose vehicles. When air-bags are deployed in a collision the passenger tends to slide under the bag impacting the knee into the instrument panel. Foam as an energy absorbing material has played an important role in the development of knee bolsters for these interiors.In response to those requirements Mobay undertook a major program to develop an energy absorbing polyurethane foam (EA-foam) system specifically designed for management of interior occupant energy. This effort resulted in Bayfill EA systems for interior parts.This paper describes and characterizes polyurethane foam for knee bolster applications as exemplified by Bayfill EA systems. Static and dynamic properties will be presented. In addition the effect of velocity, weight, density, and the IP environment on energy absorption will be discussed.This paper is organized as follows (1): AMaterial background BKnee bolster performance and efficiency CDynamic performance of polyurethane foam: fundamentals DDynamic performance of polyurethane foam: knee bolsters EInstrument panel environment considerations F. Conclusions

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